Simple, Safe, and Effective
These are great exercises for engaging your core that are spine safe popularized by Dr. Stuart McGill. This is not to say that other exercises aren’t good but these are a great entry point for those looking to improve their core activation. Progressions and regressions are endless from the Big 3.
Bird dog: Lift opposite arm and leg while maintain good intra-abdominal pressure throughout the lower back while avoiding any dramatic shifting or lower back arching.
Dead bug: Focus on keeping the rib cage down while you move opposite arm and leg. Lower back should stay in contact with the ground or table.
Curl up: Hands underneath lower back. One knee bent helps with pelvis positioning. Tuck your chin and think ‘long spine’. Engage the anterior core and lift just until shoulder blades rise off table. Slowly descend to starting position.